Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Five pharmacists are suing because they claim that their religious freedom was violated when they were fired for not dispensing emergency contraception. Here's what I think, if you have a religious objection to your job, don't make that job your profession. If you are christian science, don't be a paramedic. If you are a pacifist, don't join the military. If you hate women, don't be a pharmacist.

Here's another hint about buying Christmas gifts for your employees, don't wait until the Tuesday before xmas before it occurs to you that you might want to start looking into it. And don't get mad at me, when I tell you that it cannot be done, because you waited too long.

I had this conversation with my dad yesterday: I asked him what he thought about his president breaking the law repeatedly and flagrantly. He said that after 9/11, he couldn't find me fast enough, and that he would have done/authorized the same thing. I think that's it's this kind of knee jerk reaction that Bushie plays too. My dad is not dumb, he's not ignorant, he just loves his family and he believes that the prez should do everything to protect this country. And I said but Dad, he could've gotten permission after the fact and he didn't. My dad can take this protect family at all cost view, but he doesn't run a country. He doesn't have to abide by the Constitution. The president does - the Bill of Rights is not a suggestion. Bush took an oath to uphold the Constitution, in addition to breaking that oath, he violated laws. And he'd do it again.

I understand the emotion of my father, but this country cannot be ruled by fear. In the words of Margaret Cho, "there may be terrorists, but I refuse to be terrorized" .... especially by my own government.

Americablog has a nice piece about what would happen if a terrorist shot up a US mall with an AK-47...how quickly would we see gun rights disappear - in the name of national security. And how would die hard pro gun supporters respond to their guns being taken away by presidential fiat. Speaking of unlimited presidential authority, Russ Feingold makes an excellent point that why does Bushie need the Patriot Act authorized if he, arguably has the authority to carry out everything in the Act by presidential order. Could it be that even he does not actually think that he has that authority?

Why is there not a huge, huge ruckus going on? The President of the United States got on the radio and admitted, admitted to authorizing a government agency to violate a law. He admitted to doing it frequently and said he would do it again. If anyone else confesses to a crime and claims that they will do it again, we lock those people up! Bush has claimed a dangerous prerogative, and the media is setting a dangerous precedent by letting it slide. No one seems to care that an honest to God crime has been committed. No one seems to care that Bushie is calling for dissenters to shut the hell up. No one remembers the Plame affair. Bush thinks that pulling out of Iraq will show that America can not keep it's word. Mr. President, you broke your bond with the American people.
Compliments of bluegrassreport.com:
Senate Majority Leader Tom Delay during discussion about the impeachment of President Clinton:

I believe that this nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law.

Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth.
Shall we follow the rule of law and do our constitutional duty no matter unpleasant, or shall we follow the path of least resistance, close our eyes to the potential lawbreaking, forgive and forget, move on and tear an unfixable hole in our legal system? No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country.
Um, yeah.

There's something very wrong with the country when the president in a news conference has to deny being a dictator. From the news conference:

QUESTION: I wonder if you can tell us today, sir, what, if any, limits you believe there are or should be on the powers of a president during wartime.
And if the global war on terror is going to last for decades, as has been forecast, does that mean that we're going to see, therefore, a more or less permanent expansion of the unchecked power of the executive in American society?

BUSH: First of all, I disagree with your assertion of unchecked power.


BUSH: Hold on for a second, please.
There is the check of people being sworn to uphold the law, for starters.
There is oversight. We're talking to Congress all the time.
And on this program, to suggest there's unchecked power is not listening to what I'm telling you. I'm telling you, we have briefed the United States Congress on this program a dozen times.
This is an awesome responsibility, to make decisions on behalf of the American people. And I understand that. And we'll continue to work with the Congress, as well as people within our own administration, to constantly monitor a program such as the one I described to you, to make sure that we're protecting the civil liberties of the United States.
To say "unchecked power" basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the president, which I strongly reject.


BUSH: I just described limits on this particular program, and that's what's important for the American people to understand. I am doing what you expect me to do and, at the same time, safeguarding the civil liberties of the country.

And it's been said all over the blogosphere, but I'll say it again. Bush lies.

ThenBush: Wiretaps "Require a Court Order." "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution." [President Bush, 4/20/04, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040420-2.html#]

YesterdayBush: I Authorized Secret Wiretap Program Without Going Through the Courts. "To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks. So, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, I authorized the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. … This program has targeted those with known links to al Qaeda. I've reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for so long as our nation is -- for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens." [President Bush, 12/19/05, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051219-2.html]

I just talked to a woman on the phone who had a number of gift cards and when she went to use them, the person running the card said that if she did not know the exact amount on the card, the machine would take all the money off and decline the card. (this is patently wrong, btw). so the woman ran the cards, the were declined and she ended up having to pay by check. She wanted to know how she could get her money back so that she could cover those checks. i had to explain that she still had the money, it was in card form and there was no way to get that money in cash form out of the card. she didn't seem to understand that we were not going to give her the money to cover the check, when the money was still hers on the card...at any rate, i have no idea how she got our number and why she didn't just call the number that is listed on the back of the card....

And then there's this: Where are the gigantic stories of Bushie's spooks spying on Americans because they are members of gay law groups, eco-activists, animal rights activists? these allegations broke today, and i have yet to see them on the major news sites? Um, isn't there a rule about not spying on domestic groups....violent, fringe and hate groups, yes. tree huggers and puppy cuddlers, no. Also back the hell of the gay people, we're trying to carry out our secret agenda here...

In other, completely unrelated news, SERENITY, my new favorite movie, comes out on dvd today. Not only was I on the pre-order list, I was on the list to be notified when it would be available for pre-order. It's just that good.

Speaking of under-reported news, headline from Forbes.com "150 pounds of explosives missing from NM." Um, yeah...scary. Apparently 150 pounds of "highly energetic, military style explosives" are missing alone with 2,500 blasting caps and 25,000 feet of detonation cord. An agent with ATF cautioned that "there was no evidence to suggest a link to terrorism." Um, what exactly else would someone want 150 pounds of explosives for? A high school prank? An underfunded demolition crew? I am very concerned about the missing explosives. Isn't Bush supposed to be protecting America....why is there only one agent on the scene? That's enough explosives to level a building and can fit in an SUV or truck. Um um um, I'm concerned.

Oh, ok, I had the previous story a little wrong... it seems that actually 400 pounds of explosives are missing. And this is the second time that explosives have gone missing from this site. The first time 350 pounds of explosive ammonium nitrate pellets were stolen ?<- the same kind of material used in the OK City bombing. How comforting. I think a local gets it right when he says "You have to question the logic behind federal regulations that prohibited you from carrying nail clippers onto an airplane, but allow you to store high-grade explosives in a poorly protected site in the middle of nowhere." Maybe this is why the 9/11 comission gave Bush & Co 15 D's and 9 F's for homeland security.


Let's talk about this "War on Christmas" crap that the conservatives are getting into a tizzy about. Let's just take a quick example of why they are missing the point. go here: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/12/20/poll.season/, ignore the article, just look at the picture. It's a guy, in a santa suit- cause that's the real meaning of Christmas ....let's review.

1) It is generally accepted that Christ was not born in the winter, but was actually born sometime in the spring or summer, thus Dec 25 is an arbitrary day.
2) Almost all traditions surrounding Christmas, predate Christ. The early Christians put Christmas on a day that was already occupied by a pagan holiday (saturnalia, winter solstice, yule) in order that they could transition the pagans to christianity without making them give up their pagan holiday.
3) Santa is the decendent of the pagan father christmas, otherwise known as old winter, otherwise known as the pagan god Woden.

Back to the War on Christmas...specifically this picture - guy "defending" christmas, dressed as the decendent of a pagan god. hmph. futhermore, the fundie christians entirely miss the point. it doesn't matter what day you celebrate christmas on, it's a time of good cheer, of giving and of hospitality. it doesn't matter if someone doesn't celebrate in the same way you do. as a christian it is your duty to be hospitable, kind, and giving. what does it matter if stores aren't marketing Christmas (maybe that's a good thing - didn't the pope admonish people for being too materialistic at this time of year?)

What does it matter if people say happy holidays? it makes me crazy when christians are hateful, mean, and otherwise not treating others as they would like to be treated. what other people believe does not change your relationship with your god. If you believe that the son of god was born to a virgin more than 2000 years ago, that is between your heart and your god. i guess what i'm saying is, shut up. wish people happy holidays, celebrate the spirit of the season, and don't get caught up in hyper religious rhetoric of godless men.

Minesweeper: expert in 3.5 minutes.

So, Ohio right? They have a bill sitting on Governor Taft's desk that would make it legal for the po po to ask for your name, address and birthdate, without provacation. If you refuse, they can arrest you. I don't think I'm overreaching when I call this Gestapo tactics. Also scary, there's only three hits if you search for it on Google News...


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